Permit to Practice
Under the Professional Governance Act,
all firms that engage in the practice of professional engineering or professional geoscience are required to have a Permit to Practice. Effective October 1, 2021, registrant firms must apply their Permit to Practice number to all authenticated documents. Authenticated documents lacking a Permit to Practice number do not meet the requirements of Bylaw 7.3.7(14)
and may be rejected by the receiving party.
Entities that engage in the practice of professional engineering or professional geoscience are required to register for a Permit to Practice. A Permit to Practice grants firms the legal authority to engage in the practice of professional engineering or geoscience in BC.
Registrant firms are required to have a representative attend training, and to have documented policies and procedures in place that indicate how they meet the quality management, ethics, and continuing education requirements within 12 months of registering.
Registration for a Permit to Practice opened July 2, 2021, and firms are required to complete their registration before September 30, 2021. For a summary of the application requirements and to apply, visit the How to Apply for a Permit to Practice page. For a detailed overview of the Permit to Practice requirements, view the Regulation of Firms Manual.
The Regulation of Firms Permit to Practice online training is now available for registration through the Online Store. The training provides guidance to Responsible Registrants and other individuals employed by or under contract with a registrant firm of Engineers and Geoscientists BC on the requirements for applying for and maintaining their firm’s Permit to Practice. All individuals acting as Responsible Registrants for a registered firm are required to complete this training. This course is also available to any individual desiring a better understanding of the ethics, quality management, and continuing education requirements for firm regulation.
Initially, the training is being offered through an online Learning Management System that consists of 6 courses with a total of 15 self-paced modules. The modules review the ethics, quality management, and continuing education requirements for firms, legal requirements under the Professional Governance Act and the Bylaws of Engineers and Geoscientists BC, and provide guidance to firms in developing or updating their Professional Practice Management Plan. The estimated time to complete the training is 8 hours. The cost of the online training is $100 per attendee, however firms will be credited one free spot when they pay their Permit to Practice registration fee.
In-person training will be made available once pandemic restrictions are lifted, and it is determined to be safe to conduct such events. In-person training will have specific training sessions for sole practitioners and for multi-professional firms.
As part of the Permit to Practice requirements, registrant firms are required to have a Professional Practice Management Plan (PPMP) in place documenting policies and procedures that indicate how they meet the quality management, ethics, and continuing education requirements.
At minimum, the PPMP must contain:
- a code of conduct that identifies how the registrant firm will ensure compliance with Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Code of Ethics;
- policies and procedures meeting the quality management requirements in the bylaws;
- policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the continuing education requirements;
- the organizational structure of the registrant firm;
- the names of the registrant firm’s Responsible Officer and Responsible Registrant(s);
- the registrant firm’s area(s) of practice; and
- the Responsible Registrant(s) designated to each area of practice at the registrant firm.
A registrant firm’s Professional Practice Management Plan must be in place within 12 months of registering for a Permit to Practice.
The Regulation of Firms Permit to Practice training program covers the PPMP requirements in detail and assist firms in preparing their PPMP’s by providing standardized templates. Standardized templates are available for the following categories of firms:
- Engineering Sole Practitioner PPMP Template for an engineering professional registrant who practises on their own, either in an incorporated or unincorporated organization. They may have non-professionals on staff and up to two trainees and still qualify as a sole practitioner.
- Geoscience Sole Practitioner PPMP Template for a geoscience professional registrant who practises on their own, either in an incorporated or unincorporated organization. They may have non-professionals on staff and up to two trainees and still qualify as a sole practitioner.
- Multi-Professional Firm PPMP Template for small to medium size firms with two or more engineers and/or geoscientists on staff.
- Large Firm PPMP Template for large firms, public sector firms or firms with multiple divisions, business lines, or unique operating groups where the individual groups will have procedures unique to them. It is applicable to firms with engineers and/or geoscientists on staff.
Firms with existing policies and procedures that meet some or all of the PPMP requirements can simply reference the existing documents in their PPMP.
A firm’s PPMP will be reviewed by Engineers and Geoscientists BC auditors during the firm’s audits.
A significant component of the Permit to Practice requirements is the proactive mandatory audits of registrant firms. Firms will be eligible for Permit to Practice audits 12 months after receiving a permit. After the initial audit, firms will be audited regularly on a 3-to-5-year cycle.
Engineers and Geoscientists BC will be providing comprehensive guidance documents to assist registrant firms in understanding and benefiting from the Audit Program.
Have a question about firm regulation or registering for a Permit to Practice? Email us at [email protected] or visit our Regulation of Firms page.